What would it be worth to know exactly what the weather will do for the rest of the year? While no one can know for sure, on Jan. 31 Tennessee grain farmers will have the opportunity to hear one of the leading expert’s weather predictions for 2008 at the Coffee County Fairgrounds.

Drew Lerner of World Weather, Inc., will once again be the keynote speaker for the Middle Tennessee Grain Conference in Manchester. Lerner is the senior agricultural meteorologist for the Kansas-based firm which studies weather patterns and their short- and long-term effects for various farming regions around the world.

Drought conditions for the past two years drastically affected the profitability of many middle Tennessee farms, and Lerner’s predictions for the middle Tennessee weather for 2007 were uncannily accurate.

Registration at the door begins at 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 31 at a cost of $10 per person.

From 9:00 a.m. until noon, conference participants will have the opportunity to choose from a number of presentations by UT Extension experts addressing some of the most pressing concerns for this year’s cropping season.

Delton Gerloff, a grain marketing specialist, will be offering insight on the domestic and foreign forces behind corn, wheat and soybean prices and the direction he sees the markets headed, along with some key price risk strategies.

Angela Thompson, corn and soybean specialist, will focus on the latest production technology that can help increase profit chances and offset rising production costs.

Bob Williams, western region area grain crop specialist, will address seed shortages for soybeans and alternative choices to varieties in short supply, and Hugh Savoy, soil fertility specialist, will address how to make fertilizer dollars count and alternative strategies and strategies to combat increasing fertilizer prices. Savoy will also offer an update on UT soil test reports.

Additional speakers include Chuck Danehower, an area farm management specialist with UT Extension, who will present economical strategies of the cost of doing business on 
owned-versus-rented acres and the impact on profitability with selected crops.

Larry Steckel, a weed specialist, will address new herbicide packages for corn and soybeans.

Following lunch, Russ Patrick, UT Extension entomologist, will offer updated strategies to managing insects in stored grain, and Drew Lerner will conclude the conference with his insight to weather for the 2008 growing season.

The conference will also host a trade show.

Following the conference, a re-certification class for renewing private pesticide applicator certification until 2011 will be offered. All private pesticide cards, which enable producers to purchase and use restricted-use pesticides for their crop production, will expire Oct. 21, 2008. The cost of re-certification is $15.

Complete details on conference topics can be obtained from your local agent from UT Extension or the Tennessee State University Cooperative Extension Service.